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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wedding Photography Tips - Part 1, Introduction

I had a great time last weekend, taking wedding photos. Everything, and I mean everything, fell into place. It is very rare that everything works exactly as expected/planned. Sometimes the client has changed his/her mind about something. In other occasions, the weather is to blame. Every now and then, there is some technical issue. This time, everything worked flawlessly. But this is more the exception than the rule. There are a lot of parameters to think about in wedding photography, and someone without much experience can justifiably feel overwhelmed. AmateurNikon is here to help!



I will offer you a series of wedding photography articles - tips, tutorials, and general advice for a wedding photography assignment. This series will consist of 5 parts:

Part 1 - Introduction
This is the current article. 

Part 2 - Preparing for the Occasion
In this article I will cover the things you need to know and prepare for before you arrive at the wedding. Technical considerations (for example, what kind of camera or lens you need for wedding photography, as well as setting up your equipment); communicating with your clients*; location scouting, etc.

Part 3 - Taking Photos at the Wedding
This will contain a lot of practical information on how to get great wedding photos. Tips on positioning, timing, framing and moving; I will also share with you some of my business secrets on getting the couple and the guests to appear great on the photos. Some brides and grooms are more shy than others, but these tricks guarantee to make even the shyest groom and the most timid bride to look great on the wedding photos.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Best Camera and Lens for an Amusement Park - Reading This might Save your Marriage.

At the very least, it will save you money and a lot of frustration. But let me explain myself...

A few days ago, I went to a local amusement park. Warm sunny day (26C/78F - it qualifies as a heatwave in Finland!), and the park was jammed with people. There were a lot of parents with their small children, and naturally, many of them had cameras with them. Nothing wrong with that, wanting to capture some happy moments with your family, right? Still, I noticed that I could separate the camera-bearers into distinct categories:

Practical Master
S/he uses a mobile phone and that's it. Spends a few seconds to take a pic, then the phone goes back into the pocket and s/he resumes playing/being with the kids

Casual Photographer
S/he uses a compact, hanging around the neck at all times. Takes a few pics every now and then, then resumes playing (every now and then having to adjust the camera strap)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Nikon 35mm f/2.5 Series E

General
Another E Series lens for today. The Nikkor 35mm f/2.5. Like all Series E lenses, it was made with budget being the primary design aim. Comparing it to the AI-S versions is inevitable (although perhaps unfair, considering the significantly lower price tag). In any case, here are my findings.

Pros/Cons
+ optically very good, especially considering the price tag. Better than the AF-D 35mm f/2 in any case.
+ very small and very light (which does have drawbacks, though; read below)
+ if you need a 35mm lens for your full frame camera and budget is an issue, this could be a perfect solution

- construction quality nothing to rave about
- small size & weight means it's a bit off-balance with a heavy, D700-type body (let alone anything bigger)
- for the same reason, the focus ring feels a bit small and not as great as with the AI-S lenses


Image quality is nothing spectacular, but it's very good - considering the price tag